17th Annual Fundraiser For Coal Park Planned

The 17th-annual dinner auction for the Harrison Coal and Reclamation Historical Park will be held May 14 at the Hopedale Social Hall. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and an all-you-can-eat buffet will be served at 6:30 p.m. A program will follow.

Reservations can be sent to the HCRHP, P.O. Box 403, Cadiz, OH 43907. Charles and Teresa Hutton of Cadiz will serve as auctioneers. They have lived in the community for 30 years and both graduated from the Walton School of Auctioneers in Medina.

The prize item for the auction is a framed print called “Going Home” by Dave Barnhouse. Other articles are a framed photo of the Silver Spade looking at the machine from the high wall, smaller framed photos of Hanna and Consolidated Coal shovels, jars of ballast from the Silver Spade. Hanna Coal magazines, coal patches, stickers, coal glasses, homegrown Harrison County wine, first aid kits, safety awards and a coal lighter.

The park was set up in 1992 and opened in 1994. The purpose was to acquire and preserve the surface mining and reclamation equipment that played an important part in the coal production of the area.

A goal of getting the Silver Spade, a giant earth mover, did not work out, but the group does have the Spade’s cab, shovel bucket and some cable which was donated by the Consolidation Coal Co, owners of the earth mover. The park is located off Ohio 519, west of New Athens.

The group is working toward building a museum on land of their own. Money from the dinner and auction and other projects pay expenses for insurance, maintenance and repair of the equipment. A number of the machines are operational and are fired up at special times. A calendar project under the supervision of Dale Davis was conducted. It featured the first super shovel, the Mountaineer, from Hanna Coal Co. Some calendars remain for sale and will be collectors items in the future.

The 2012 calendar will feature the Gem of Egypt shovel with color photos of the Mountaineer and Gem digging side by side that was taken in 1969. Other calendar sets will feature local mines, supporting equipment used in the mines, other shovels and one shovel feature will be dedicated to the Silver Spade. Each calendar costs $10 and can be purchased at the Cadiz Visitors Center on Main Street next to the courthouse; the Puskarich Library in Cadiz, or Scio and Freeport branch libraries; or by calling Davis at 740-942-2602; or Don Richards at 740-937-2178. Those with auction items to donate can contact Claren Blackburn at 740-937-2460.